Ekho Moskvy radio station, one of Russia’s last remaining liberal media outlets, has been dissolved by its board after coming under pressure over its coverage of the war in Ukraine, its editor said on Thursday.
MOSCOW – Ekho Moskvy radio station, one of Russia’s last remaining liberal media outlets, has been dissolved by its board after coming under pressure over its coverage of the war in Ukraine, its editor said on Thursday.
The station, one of the leading news and current affairs channels in Russia, had been taken off the air two days earlier.
“The Ekho Moskvy board of directors has decided by a majority of votes to liquidate the radio channel and the website of Ekho Moskvy,” Ekho Moskvy editor-in-chief Alexei Venediktov said on the messaging app Telegram.
The move came after the prosecutor general’s office demanded this week that access be restricted to Ekho Moskvy and the TV Rain online news channel over their coverage of the conflict.
The prosecutor said its move was prompted by their websites’ “targeted and systematic posting … of information calling for extremist activities, violence and deliberately false information about the actions of Russian forces as part of a special operation” in Ukraine.
Russia rejects the term invasion, and says its actions are not designed to occupy territory but to destroy Ukraine’s military capabilities and capture what it regards as dangerous nationalists – a pretext rejected by Ukraine and the West as baseless propaganda.
Ekho Moskvy said on Tuesday that the accusations against it were baseless and offensive, and it would fight them in the courts.
Russian journalists have faced an increasingly difficult environment in recent years, with many being designated by the authorities as “foreign agents”, a status that snares them in official paperwork and exposes them to public contempt.
Pressure has mounted since President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last week, with most mainstream media outlets and state-controlled organisations sticking closely to language used by the Kremlin to describe the war.